Government not leading by example on energy efficiency

An early day motion has highlighted the poor energy efficiency of the Houses of Parliament.

The motion, primarily sponsored by Green MP Caroline Lucas, aims to tackle a number of environmental issues at the home of government - including faulty radiator valves, bottled water and no recycling for Christmas cards.

According to Mrs Lucas the House of Commons authorities 'must step up efforts to reduce the environmental footprint' of its work across the entire estate.

In the motion, tabled yesterday (November 9), MPs claim Parliament is 'failing to move fast enough' on its green commitments.

Mrs Lucas also said it was 'impossible' to turn down the radiators in her office which are 'often on at full blast even in mild weather'.

She also revealed a refusal by the House of Commons to offer MPs the option of recycled Christmas cards, on the 'spurious grounds' that recycled card would be of a 'significantly inferior' quality.

She said: "While I welcome Parliament's Environmental Improvement Plan and appreciate the efforts being made by the environment team, I am concerned the pace of change towards making the estate truly green is far too slow.

"It is incredibly inefficient, for example, that radiators in buildings across the estate are on full blast, and cannot be turned down manually even in the mild weather - making the offices of many MPs and staff unbearably hot and stuffy.

"Furthermore, I find it ridiculous that bottled water continues to be provided in committee rooms instead of tap water, despite the obvious environmental benefits that this change would bring.

"And the idea that MPs should be refused the option of sending Christmas cards printed on recycled card to their constituents and colleagues on the grounds that the recycled material would be, according to the Speaker's Art Fund, 'significantly inferior', is shocking."

Luke Walsh


energy manager


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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